The Indian government has placed the names of five senior Pakistani military officers on a list of fifty “most wanted” criminals that it seeks to extradite so they can face trial on charges of terrorism.
According to Reuters, this is believed to be the first time that India has explicitly accused Pakistani army officials with being directly linked to terrorism and militancy.
The most wanted list includes five majors in the Pakistani army (who are still serving) as well as suspected members of militant groups al Qaeda, Lakshar-e-Toiba and Jasih-e-Mohammed.
The New Delhi government has long (unofficially) believed that Pakistan has protected and/or encouraged terrorists, including the ones who perpetrated the massacre in Mumbai in 2008 which killed almost 170 people. Those militants were believed to have links to Pakistan’s principal intelligence network, Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI).
The Mumbai attacks cancelled peace talks between the two nuclear giants that began in 2004.
Reuters noted revealed that, ironically, the list of most wanted criminals was submitted to Pakistan in March but it only now being released publically – coincidentally one week after the killing of Osama bin Laden in a compound near the capital Islamabad has raised grave concerns about the possible complicity of Pakistani intelligence and military on harboring terrorists.
According to Reuters, India’s Home Secretary G.K. Pillai gave the list of criminals to his Pakistani peer, Qamar Zaman Choudhary, during a March meeting.
Separately, India’s Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is expected to visit Afghanistan “in the near future,” reportedly to discuss security and economic development.